"Lackluster Live Action with Mixed Messages"
What You Need To Know:
PETER PAN & WENDY is a lackluster reframing of Peter Pan’s story. The computer graphics and cinematography are excellent, but the lack of meaningful character development and the tacked-on woke elements and feminism are off putting. Happily, though, the movie retains the play’s uplifting message that growing up is “the greatest adventure of all.” PETER PAN & WENDY is largely free coarse content. However, some scary images and action violence may bother younger viewers. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children.
PETER PAN & WENDY, an updated fantasy version of J.M. Barrie’s beloved play, follows the story of Wendy Darling and her brothers, who are caught up in an adventure with Peter Pan in Neverland, where the infamous Captain Hook menaces them and other characters. PETER PAN & WENDY is a lackluster reframing of Peter Pan’s story, which combines the original play’s uplifting message that growing up is “the greatest adventure of all” with politically correct messages about female empowerment and woke “diversity.”
Desiring not to grow up like Peter, Wendy finds herself swept up in the fantastic adventure she finds in Neverland. However, dangers abound as she meets Captain Hook, Peter’s nemesis, and finds that Neverland may not be what she expected. What does this longed-for-escape truly hold for Wendy?
Perhaps the best that can be said for PETER PAN & WENDY is that it presents a creative reframing of many of the elements of Barrie’s classic play. The deep delving into the character of Hook and why he desires a Neverland with no children is intriguing. However, other aspects of this reframing are pursued in a way that Barrie certainly wouldn’t appreciate. It is also one that many viewers will probably walk away from scratching their heads.
For example, Tiger Lily is transformed from a damsel in distress to a Native American woman warrior. Barrie’s “lost boys” are changed to “lost children” with many an energetic young girl joining this newly inclusive group. The cinematography and computer graphics are excellent. However, character development, except in the case of Wendy, is greatly lacking. Also, the movie fails to keep audiences enthralled because its leads are largely one dimensional and not very dynamic.
PETER PAN & WENDY also contains some woke elements. The false philosophical tenet of “diversity” is thrown in one’s face when Wendy notices that “the lost boys” troop has many a girl in it, and when the girls present get hot and bothered when Wendy points this out to everyone. This on the nose departure from Barrie’s book is an overtly “inclusive” casting move, which Wendy so equitably concludes is “not really that important anyway.”
For all these reasons, the movie is mediocre at best.
PETER PAN & WENDY has a mixed pagan worldview with moral redemptive elements combined with politically correct content.
For example, Wendy comes to grips with how God made children to grow into something greater. She learns, as she says, “that to grow up just might be the greatest adventure of all.” Also, characters learn to forgive, a character learns to ask for help, a girl learns to care for her younger brothers, and a character acts sacrificially to save the lives of others.
However, the movie combines this positive content with some postmodern elements and some politically correct elements that promote revisionist feminism and woke notions of “diversity.”
For example, the movie concludes that Peter Pan (good) and Captain Hook (evil) need each other in order for the story to continue. This pagan dualism, while not as overt as it could be, is clearly present and problematic from a biblical standpoint. Indeed, given the way the movie delves into the backstory of Captain Hook, the villain’s character comes dangerously close to being presented as a sympathetic anti-hero, the paragon of postmodernism. Furthermore, strong feminism and elements of “diversity” are present throughout the movie. For example, the “lost boys” become the “lost children.” Also, both Wendy and Tiger Lily are transformed from damsels in distress to female warriors who, more times than not, rescue Peter Pan and other characters from their various perils.
That said, PETER PAN & WENDY is largely free of foul language and completely free of sexual content. However, some scary images and action violence may bother younger viewers. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for this and for the movie’s politically correct leftist, feminist changes to the original story.
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